Connecting to the community (23 out of 365) #blogaday [Reblog of “Bering Land Bridge National Preserve Visit”]

I have been busy today with lots of back-to-back events – including tonight – so I apologize for not writing my own post. BUT this one from a new blog I started following sparked my interest. It relates to “Getting Through Grad School” because it is a reminder that lessons can start from anywhere (including your community). There should not be stress to find real-world examples of what you’re learning, just reach out to the world around you. Field trips are always fun experiences and bringing experts to your classroom works just as well!

The Kindergarten All-Stars

Yesterday a representative from Bering Land Bridge National Preserve came into our class to teach us about our ecosystem and the animals that live in it.  She read us the story North: The Amazing Story of Arctic Migration.  We learned about why certain animals live in cold climates, migrating patterns of arctic animals, and how animals survive and find food in the arctic.


Then students took turns picking an animal from a method of migration and deciding if they lived in the arctic or not.  They sorted the animals by arctic animals and non arctic animals by taping the picture of the animal to the picture of the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.  We finished off the lesson with a song sung to the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It.  The title of the song was If You Live in the Arctic.


View original post


Games OR goals? No. Games AND goals! (22 out of 365) #blogaday

Many teachers feel like they have to follow the curriculum and teacher’s guide to the T. Games and activities are much more exciting than worksheets, and they can fit with the curriculum goals. It does take more work to find activities related to the lesson, but it makes a big difference for the students. Today and yesterday, my CT implemented games (two that I sent her and one of her own) into math and science blocks. The math ones were a tic-tac-toe partner game with subtracting mixed numbers, and an “I have/who has” type game with equations and answers – the science was also similar but with various organisms. The students had so much fun! They wanted to play each game multiple times and were really engaged in getting their answers correct (which involves learning the information). It it very important for the class to want to be taught and completing

engaging math post2engaging math post1


after worksheet

is a bore. 







I start teaching math next week and I strive to make it a fun experience for the weeks I am teaching. The school teachers are still required to send home the worksheets, but the in-class activities can be whatever I want as long as it is related to that day’s content. They are starting a unit on equivalent fractions and I am looking forward to finding fun games, activities, and hands-on ideas to teach 🙂 Learning should be an


for the students and I want them to explore all they know about equivalent fractions and have a great time while expanding their intelligences.


Inspiration about inclusion (21 out of 365) #blogaday

Inclusion is not simply about physical proximity. It is about intentionally planning for the success of all students.

This quote resonated with me when I read it a few days ago because it is really relevant to my future career in teaching. Simply teaching to everyone and placing them in standard rows, so they all can see equally, does not include the whole class. Each student is different and needs their accommodations to be successful in the classroom. What if a child that is placed in the front gets intimidated by that much attention but you don’t move him/her? This will affect how the student learns each day, and eventually he/she may give up or become frustrated. There is a variety of learning styles and levels in  every classroom. Teachers must get to know how each individual student learns and how to engage the whole class. inclusion postI have been taught multiple strategies for getting to know the students and including them effectively in the learning process. I hope to incorporate some in my every day style and am able to build a lasting community with each year of students! I have a plan to use morning meetings every day to help build that close bond between myself and the students as well as among the students themselves. It will take some time to get them speaking about personal issues, but there are a variety of  questions and ways to have students share on a more individual level (such as dialogue journals). These journals are ways for students to talk about issues or excitements with the teacher each afternoon, and I respond to each one with integrity so they know I truly care 🙂

Here is an interesting link about things to keep in mind when teaching with inclusion


 ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ DISCOVERY! ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ 

Just realized I could change the font color and heading size 😮 (I thought it was stuck due to the theme – will be testing from now on)

Observation hour (20 out of 365) #blogaday

Being observed by my supervisor last week was a very interesting experience! I was reviewing how to reduce fractions with a small group – the activity involved coloring in a set number of squares for each color, figuring out the fraction of 100, and whether or not to reduce. For each observation, the master’s student is meant to create a lesson plan and tell the supervisor what to look for while he/she is teaching. I asked him to make sure that I was not calling on the same students to over and over, watch my overall management of the students, and check that I didnt give too many hints. It was somewhat difficult because my group was in the middle of the hallway at desks, rather than in a  room which made the scene distracting. The students also were very into their coloring so it was hard to bring them back when it was time to do the fractions and reducing. I was slightly nervous to be observed because it makes me self-conscious to know that I am being evaluated; however, once I started teaching the lesson, I totally forgot he was  there and paid attention to the kids. observation1 postAfter the lesson, my supervisor debriefed with me about what I thought I did well and he explained my areas to focus on next time. Transitions, clear expectations, and monitoring behavior were the main ones. It would have been easier if I gave expectations at the beginning and middle to give the students guidelines – such as put down the marker and eyes on me please. Transitioning between coloring and doing the math would have definitely helped. I knew that behavior was something to work on  -since I wasn’t in her room or my own  space, it was hard to keep kids’ attention and prevent them from talking to each other. This observation was very insightful for the many things that go on during teaching a lesson and what to remember to include. I’m glad we will have a few more observations this term and next! Looking forward to  teaching math next week to the fifth graders 🙂


Remembering your resources (19 out of 365) #blogaday

I am fortunate to be in a program that has excellent supervisors and individual support systems. The educators really are here to help us be successful with our classes, field placements, and the whole process of getting a job. They breakdown what’s needed to receive our license, make sure we understand when everything is due, and even discuss the interview process. This past Friday, we had a meeting about interviews in which two teachers gave a list of possible questions to be prepared for, as well as how to act/dress and what to expect. This meeting was very informative and we are having practice interviews in a few weeks to get us ready for the job fair in April. It is exciting to know that they are there for me to fall back on if I am freaking out. As teachers of future teachers, they really show us what’s it like to be a good educator (no matter what age group you are teaching, even adults!). They are perfect examples of how to  truly care about your students 😀

resource post1In this fast-track Master’s, it is necessary to remember that we have wonderful resources to take advantage of when we really need it. I have been attending all the preparatory meetings and really listening to what they have to say. I have also emailed and negotiated issues with them when something arose. Your peers are very useful if they know the answer, but when they don’t, feel free to email the head of the program or someone else in the department. They are more than happy to answer and make you feel comfortable! Be grateful to your mentors and all the time/effort they put in – you won’t have them for much longer, so keep in touch as much as you can.

resource post2


Caring about crafting (18 out of 365) #blogaday

​I have always been into doing crafts, like hand-making cards and bookmarks and such. I recently got into scrapbooking and am starting to be excited about decoupaging. Scrapbooking with pictures and fun stickers is very thrilling – I like organizing each page and finding the knickknacks needed for the chosen theme. Using modpodge seems like a cool, new crafting activity for me to pick up! It has been mentioned on a few of the DIY sites for easy decorations. There are so many different ideas that involve fabric, furniture, wall decor, and many other functions. It can help me stylize my classroom and apartment in a cute way that doesn’t cost too much.

Since I am new to decoupaging, I was trying to find some tips for what to create and breakdowns for how to use modpodge effectively. I found this really fun and easy-to-read blog called Modpodge Rocks. They give you a free e-book when you signup for subscription that shows you some initial ideas. I recommend it for anyone who wants to start using modpodge. I plan to find time on my weekends to complete various crafts and have fun 🙂



Building binders (17 out of 365) #blogaday

​At the Friday seminar, the head of the program reminded us all of the things to come in the term. It is important to look forward because there are many steps to do for the three tasks in our placements that we have to complete for our license. She suggested that we put together a binder for each part with all the guidelines and make a Google calendar highlighting given deadlines. Since I finished my homework, I figured I would start organizing before I forgot or got back into the stress of school. My mom had one binder here already, so I printed out all the things I thought would be necessary (some of it was given to us in handout form) and placed in separate piles in the binder. I haven’t looked over the information yet because I didn’t want to stress myself out and the calendar isn’t setup.

binder organization postAs a future teacher, it is a good skill to be able to put together binders efficiently. They use them for lessons plans, materials, student work, or basically anything that could be placed into categories. I am a bit behind with these binders – I haven’t missed any deadlines, but I should have looked up information earlier so I am not scrambling to put together a schedule. There are also students and lessons we need to teach in our placements that I have to put in my schedule and talk to my CT about. Today was a good start on the organization and this week, I will be working on writing important details and coming up with dates.

binder organization post2


Lean on the ones you love (16 out of 365) #blogaday

​I am visiting my parents this weekend, so I thought I would write about the importance of using the ones you care about as de-stressers. Something about being at home just puts my mind at ease – it may be the fact that I have to drive a bit to get there so it feels like a mini vacation, or that I try to complete my work before the trip so I can have a full weekend of relaxation. Family or friends are great resources to help you forget about real life because you can engage in activities that don’t involve homework. My family is big into watching movies and going on adventures outside. Since they just recently moved here, they are still finding fun places to go and enjoy showing me the new things they have found.

With all the work that is coming ahead in my graduate program, it is very beneficial to have time where you can catch up on life and talk about the exciting things that happened during the week. You should have friends that you can vent to, but it is also very important to have friends or family members who you speak to about the fun parts of life and what you look forward to. I have already talked to my mother about where I want to eventually work, and the plans that must be made before I can do that which is a very exciting matter 🙂 This weekend will be a much needed time of rest. Try to mark similar time in you calendars, so you make sure to take a breather when you can!

family time post


Teaching was meant to be (15 out of 365) #blogaday

Through attending staff meetings, I discovered that I already have a lot of the “necessary” teacher qualities. I am very organized with my schedule and things to the point of almost OCD. I color-coordinate my agenda book so every subject and activity has a different color ha! I always collected journals with ideas and stories in them, had markers in my desks, and received stamp sets for birthdays. I hoard some things from  my childhood, which will help me get used to saving materials from past teaching years. I didn’t think about teaching when I was little – I wanted to be a veterinarian or an astronaut, but the science level was far too difficult. These tendencies are just part of who I am and my intuition. meant to be teacher post2Teachers need to be passionate about what they do, and their brains are trained to be teachers in every setting. They think about activities as they walk down the street, and hopefully, are organized and work ahead with their daily checklists. The students are dependable on the teacher for learning and if he/she is not trying their best, the children will be able to tell and not want to  put the effort  in either. It is important to be up front with students about your life outside of school, so they feel comfortable in your classroom and with their own lives. meant to be teacher post


Knowing the kids (14 out of 365) #blogaday

For one of my classes, we had to do a mini case study on a student from our field placement. The assignment involved writing about the student’s background, discussing an unsolved problem and creating a solution with him/her, and then writing a reflection on the experience. I chose a boy who hardly ever turns in his homework because I thought it would be interesting to learn the reasons behind not completing assignments. I figured that he wasn’t just giving up or didn’t want to do it because I strive to give all students the benefit of the doubt. His story let me see the reality that students have different family lives and this impacts their time at school.

case study postUnderstanding the importance of getting to know your students to your best ability is essential! There are so many more things that go on in children’s lives than people can imagine. I have learned that bringing cultural background into the classroom helps students feel comfortable, but what about all the other things they bring with them every day? Teaching is a very empowering career and I look forward to bonding with my students, so I understand why they act certain ways in my class and the school environment.